This last weekend was the women’s volleyball 2014 Colorado College Classic, and the CC Tigers dominated. Bringing their winning streak up to eight games, the Tigers only gave up a single set throughout the tournament.
Starting the weekend off, CC took on East Texas Baptist University. The Tigers won three sets in a row. The first two sets ended with the scores 25-21 and 25-14. The final set remained very close. East Texas held the lead at 24-23, but sophomore outside hitter Abbe Holtze tied it up. The teams battled point by point until the game was tied again at 26-26.
The East Texas Tigers made an attack error, putting CC in the lead, 27-26. Then junior ride-side hitter Courtney Birkett scored the match point.
“I think that our team’s strength comes from our high level of commitment to being the best team possible,” Birkett said when asked about the team’s greatest strength. “We’ve been training since the middle of August, and we have not stopped working our hardest. Every player has so much dedication, and that is what makes our team so successful. We have the potential to win the national championship and we won’t let fatigue stop us”.
In their second game on Friday, CC defeated Clarkson University. It was a great game for “Pack the Gym” night and the fans got to watch our Tigers completely shut down Clarkson’s Golden Knights.
Once again, CC didn’t lose a single set with scores of 25-18, 25-18, and 25-20. Birkett and sophomore middle hitter Keli Sherwood each made 12 kills and two blocks. Freshman setter Sarah Barker matched her career high of 39 assists. In the back row, junior defensive specialist Sophie Merrifield got 26 digs and four service aces.
The second day of the Classic went the same as the first with back-to-back wins. The first game of the day was against Saint Mary’s University. The Tigers won the first two sets with scores of 25-21 and 25-13. But Saint Mary’s fought back to win in the third set, resulting in the Tigers’ first lost set of the season with a score of 21-25.
The game came down to the fourth set. The Tigers forced Saint Mary’s into 10 attack errors and won 25-20. Birkett and Holtze led the team with 17 and 16 kills respectively.
In their fourth sweep of the tournament, CC took down Tufts University. The scores were 25-16, 25-9, and 25-17. Holtze and senior middle hitter/outside hitter Kristen Liberty each made 11 kills, leading the team in their total domination of Tufts. Barker gave 33 assists.
“The team dynamic this year is intense and expectations are high. We are all very committed to the team and support each other on and off the court. This has led to huge success for us so far,” said Barker.
Not only did CC win the Colorado College Classic, but Birkett was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Merrifield and Sherwood were also named to the all-tournament team.
Her amazing performance during the Classic led Holtze to be named the Volleyball Offensive Player-of-the-Week by the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. This is the second SCAC weekly award that Holtze has received in her career.
After the Classic, the Tigers finally hit the road. Their first stop was Pueblo, Colorado. Unfortunately, that was where the CC winning streak ended. Playing against Division II Colorado State University-Pueblo, the Tigers suffered their first loss. The team fought hard through four sets, winning the second and repeatedly tying the score for most of the third, but ultimately, the team was unable to defeat CSU-Pueblo.
The Tigers will have plenty of opportunities to start a new winning streak as they travel to California this Friday to play four games over two days.